Page images
PDF
EPUB

SECOND MAIDEN.

CHORUS.

XXIII.

Bathe in Wealth's unbounded stream, On high each wayward muiden threw

Wealth that Avarice ne'er could dream! Her swarthy arm, with wild halloo!

FIRST MAIDEN. On either side a tiger sprung

“See these clots of virgin gold! Against the leftward foe he fung

Severed from the sparry mould, The ready banner, to engage

Nature's mystic alchemy With tangling folds the brutal rage;

In the mine thus bade them lie; The right-hand monster in mid air

And their orient smile can win
He struck so fiercely and so fair,

Kings to stoop, and saints to sin.”_
Through gullet and through spinal bone
The trenchant blade hath sheerly gone.

“See these pearls that long have slept; His grisly brethren ramp'd and yellid,

l'hese were lears by naiads wept But the slight leash their rage withheld,

For the loss of Marinel. Whilst, 'twixt their ranks, the dangerous road Tritons in the silver shell Firmly, though swift, the champion strode.

Treasured them, till hard and white Safe to the gallery's bound he drew,

As the teeth of Amphitrite.”Safe past an open portal through;

THIRD MAIDEX. And when 'gainst followers he fung

“ Does a livelier hue delight? The gate, judge if the echoes rung!

Here are rubies blazing bright, Onward his daring course he bore,

Here the emerald's fairy green, Whre, mixed with dying growl and roar,

And the topaz glows between; Wild jubilee and loud hurra

Here their varied hues unite
Pursued him on his venturous way.

In the ehangeful chrysolite."-
XXIV.

FOURTH MAIDEN. “ Hurra, hurra! Our watch is done!

“Leave these gems of poorer shine, We hail once more the tropic sun.

Leave them all, and look on mine! Pallid beams of northern day,

While their glories I expand, Farewell, farewell! hurra, hurra!

Shade thine eye-brows with thy hand. “ Five hundred years o'er this cold glen Mid-day sun and diamond's blaze Hath the pale sun come round agen;

Blind the rash beholder's gaze.”
Foot of man, till now, hath ne'er
Dared to cross the Hall of Fear.

“Warrior, seize the splendid store;

Would 'twere all our mountains bore! “Warrior! thou, whose dauntless heart Gives us from our ward to part,

We should ne'er, in future story,

Read, Peru, thy perish'd glory!"-
Be as strong in future trial,
Where resistance is denial.

XXVII.

Calmly and unconcern’d the knight “Now for Afric's glowing sky,

Waved aside the treasures bright: Zwenga wide and Atlas high,

“Gentle maidens, rise, I pray! Zaharak and Dahomay !

Bar not thus my destined way.
Mount the winds! Hurra, hurra!"-

Let these boasted brilliant toys
XXV.

Braid the hair of girls and boys!
The wizard song at distance died

Bid your streams of gold expand. As if in ether borne astray,

O'er proud London's thirsty land. While through waste balls and chambers wide De Vaux of wealth saw never need, The knight pursued his steady way,

Save to purvey him arms and steed, Till to a lofty dome he came,

And all the ore he deigned to hoard That flash'd with such a brilliant flame,

Inlays his helm, and hikts his sword.” As if the wealth of all the world

Thus gently parting from their hold, Were there in rich confusion hurl'd.

He left, unmoved, the dome of gold. For here the gold, in sandy heaps,

XXVIII. With duller earth incorporate sleeps;

And now the morning sun was high, Was there in ingots piled, and there

De Vaux was weary, faint, and dry; Coined badge of empery it bare;

When lo! a plashing sound he hears, Yonder huge bars of silver lay,, Dimm'd by the diamond's neighbouring ray,

A gladsome signal that he nears

Some frolic water run; Like the pale moon in morning day;

And soon he reached a court-yard square, And in the midst four maidens stand,

Where, dancing in the sultry air, The daughters of some distant laud.

Tossed high aloft, a fountain fair, Their hue was of the dark-red dye,

Was sparkling in the sun. That fringes oft a thunder-sky,

On right and left a fair arcade Their hands palmetto baskets bare,

In long perspective view displayed And cotton fillets bound their hair;

Alleys and bowers, for sun or shade; Slim was their form, their mien was shy,

But full in front, a door, To earth they bent the humbled eye,

Low browed and dark, seem'd as it led Folded their arms, and suppliant kneelid,

To the lane dwelling of the dead,
And thus their proffered gifts reveal'd.

Whose memory was no more.
XXVI.

XXIX.
CHORUS

Here stopped De Vaux an instant's space, “ See the treasures Merlin piled,

To bathe his parched lips and face, Portiop meet for Arthur's child.

And mark'd, with well-pleased eye,

Refracted on the fountain stream,
In rainbow hues, the dazzling beam

Of that gay summer sky.
His senses felt a mild control,
Like that which lulls the weary soul,

From contemplation high
Relaxing, when the ear receives
The music that the green-wood leaves
Make to the breeze's sigh.

XXX.
And oft in such a dreamy mood,

The half-shut eye can frame
Fair apparitions in the wood,
As if the nymphs of field and flood

In gay procession came.
Are these of such fantastic mould,

Seen distant down the fair arcade,
These maids enlinked in sister-fold,

Who, late at bashful distance staid,

Now tripping from the greenwood shade,
Nearer the musing champion draw,
And, in a pause of seeming awe,

Again stand doubtful now?-
Ah, that sly pause of witching powers!
That seems to say, “ To please be ours,

Be yours to tell us how.”-
Their hue was of the golden glow
That suns of Candahar bestow,
O'er which in slight suffusion flows
A frequent tinge of paly rose;
Their limbs were fashioned fair and free,
In Nature's justest symmetry,
And wreathed with flowers, with odours graced,
Their raven ringlets reached the waist;
In eastern pomp, its gilding pale
The hennah lent each shapely nail,
And the dark sumah gave the

eye
More liquid and more lustrous dye.
The spotless veil of misty lawn,
In studied disarrangement, drawn

The form and bosom o'er,
To win the eye, or tempt the touch,
For modesty showed all too much-
Too much-yet promised more.

XXXI.
“Gentle knight, awhile delay,"
Thus they sung, “thy toilsome way,
While we pay the duty due
To our master and to you.
Over Avarice, over Fear,
Love triumphant led thee here;
Warrior, líst to us, for we
Are slaves to Love, are friends to thee.

Though no treasured gems have we,
To proffer on the bended knee,
Though we boast nor arm nor heart,
For the assagay or dart,
Swains have given each simple girl
Ruby lip and teeth of pearl;
Or, if dangers more you prize,
Flatterers find them in our eyes.
“Stay, then, gentle warrior, stay,
Rest till evening steal on day;
Stay, 0 stay!-in yonder bowers
We will braid thy locks with flowers,
Spread the feast and fill the wine,
Charm thy ear with sounds divine,
Weave our dances till delight
Yield to languor, day to night.

" Then shall she you most approve,
Sing the lays that best you love,
Soft thy móssy couch shall spread,
Watch thy pillow, prop thy head,
Till the weary night be o'er-
Gentle warrior, would'st thou more!
Would'st thou more, fair warrior,-she
Is slave to Love, and slave to thee.”-

XXXII.
O do not hold it for a crime
In the bold hero of my rhyme,

For stoic look,

And meet rebuke,
He lacked the heart or time;
As round the band of syrens trip,
He kissed one damsel's laughing lip,
And pressed another's proffered hand,
Spoke to them all in accents bland,
But broke their magic circle through;
“ Kind maids,” he said, “ adieu, adieu!
My fate, my fortune, forward lies.”
He said, and vanished from their eyes;
But, as he dared that darksome way,
Still heard behind their lovely lay;
“ Fair flower of courtesy, depart!
Go, where the feelings of the heart
With the warm pulse in concord move;
Go, where virtue sanctions love!”-

XXXIII.
Downward De Vaux through darksome ways

And ruined vaults has gone,
Till issue from their wilder'd maze,

Or safe retreat, seem'd none;
And e'en the dismal path he strays

Grew worse as he went on.
For cheerful sun, for living air,
Foul vapours rise and mine-fires glare,
Whose fearful light the dangers show'd
That dogg'd him on that dreadful road.
Deep pits, and lakes of waters dun,
They show'd, but show'd not how to shun.
These scenes of desolate despair,
These smothering clouds of poison'd air,
How gladly had De Vaux exchanged,
Though 'twere to face yon tigers ranged!

Nay, soothful barils have said,
So perilous his state seem'd now,
He wished him under arbour bough

With Asia's willing maid.
When, joyful sound! at distance near
A trumpet flourish'd loud and clear,
And, at it ceased, a lofty lay
Seem'd thus to chide his lagging way.

XXXIV.
“ Son of honour, theme of story,
Think on the reward before ye!
Danger, darkness, toil despise;
'Tis

Ambition bids thee rise.
“ He that would her heights ascend,
Many a weary step must wend;
Hand and foot and knee he tries:
Thus Ambition's minions rise.
“ Lag not now, though rough the way,
Fortune's mood brooks no delay;
Grasp the boon that's spread before ye,
Monarch's power, and conqueror's glory!"

XXXV.
It ceased. Advancing on the sound,
A steep ascent the wanderer found,

And then a turret stair;

Nor climb'd he far its steepy round

XXXVIIL Till fresher blew the air,

Thus while she sung, the venturous knight And next a welcome glimpse was given, Has reach'd a bower, where milder light That cheer'd him with the light of heaven. Through crimson curtains fell; At length his toil had won

Such soften'd shade the hill receives, A lofty hall with trophies dress’d,

Her purple veil when twilight leaves
Where, as to greet imperial guest,

Upon its western swell.
Four maidens stood, whose crimson vest That bower, the gazer to bewitch,
Was bound with golden zone.

Had wond'rous store of rare and rich
XXXVI.

As ere was seen with eye;
Of Europe seem'd the damsels all;

For there by magic skill, 1.wis, The first a nymph of lively Gaul,

Form of each thing that living is Whose easy step and laughing ege

Was limn'd in proper dye. Her borrow'd air of a we belie;

All seem'd to sleep-the timid hare The next a maid of Spain,

On form, the stag upon his lair, Dark-eyed, dark-haired, sedate, yet bold; The eagle in her eyrie fair While ivory skin and tress of gold,

Between the earth and sky. Her shy and bashful comrade told

But what of pictured rich and rare For daughter of Almaine.

Could win De Vaux's eye-glance, where, These maidens bore a royal robe,

Deep slumbering in the fatal chair, With crown, with sceptre, and with globe,

He saw king Arthur's child! Emblems of empery:

Doubt, and anger, and dismay, The fourth a space behind them stood,

From her brow had pass'd away, And leant upon a harp, in mood

Forgot was that fell tourney-day, Of minstrel ecstasy.

For, as she slept, she smiled. Of merry England she, in dress

It seemed that the repentant seer Like ancient British druidess:

Her sleep of many a hundred year Her hair an azure fillet bound,

With gentle dreams beguiled. Her graceful vesture swept the ground,

XXXIX. And, in her hand display'd,

That form of maiden loveliness, A crown did that fourth maiden hold,

'Twixt childhood and 'twixt youth, But unadorn'd with gems and gold,

That ivory chair, that sylvan dress,
Of glossy laurel made.

The arms and ancles bare, express
XXXVII.

Of Lyulph's tale the truth.
At once to brave De Vaux knelt down

Still upon her garment's hem These foremost maidens three,

Vanoc's blood made purple gem, And proffer'd sceptre, robe, and crown,

And the warder of command Liegedom and seignorie

Cumber'd still her sleeping hand; O'er many a region wide and fair,

Still her dark locks dishevell'd flow Destined, they said, for Arthur's heir;

From net of pearl o'er breast of snow; But homage would he none:

And so fair the slumberer seems, “ Kather,” he said, “ De Vaux would ride, That De Vaux impeached his dreams, A warder of the border side,

Vapid all and void of might, In plate and mail, than, robed in pride,

Hiding half her charms from sight. A monarch's empire own;

Motionless awhile he stands, Rather, far rather, would he be

Folds his arms and clasps his hands, A free-born knight of England free,

Trembling in his fitful joy, Than sit on despot's throne.”

Doubtful how he shall destroy So pass'd he on, when that fourth maid,

Long-enduring spell; As starting from a trance,

Doubtful too, when slowly rise Upon a barp her finger laid;

Dark-fringed lids of Gyneth's eyes, Her magic touch the chords obey'd,

What these eyes shall tell. Their soul awaked at once!

“St. George! St. Mary! can it be, SONG OF THE FOURTH MAITEN,

That they will kindly look on me!" “ Quake to your foundations deep,

XL. Stately tower, and banner'd keep,

Gently, lo! the warrior kneels, Bid your vaulted echoes moan,

Soft that lovely hand he steals, As the dreaded step they own.

Soft to kiss, and soft to clasp-

But the warder leaves her grasp; * Fiends that wait on Merlin's spell, Hear the foot-fall! mark it vell!

Lightning flashes, rolls the thunder! Spread your dusky wings abroad,

Gyneth startles from her sleep, Boune ye for your homeward road,

Totters tower, and trembles keep,

Burst the castle walls asunder! “ It is his, the first who e'er

Fierce and frequent were the shocks, Dared the dismal hall of Fear;

Melt the magic halls awayHis, who hath the snares defied,

-But beneath their mystic rocks, Spread by pleasure, wealth, and pride,

In the arms of bold De Vaux, « Quake to your foundations deep,

Safe the princess lay! Bastion huge, and turret steep!

Safe and free from magic power, Tremble keep, and totter tover!

Blushing like the rose's flower This is Gyneth's waking hour, "

Opening to the day;

CONCLUSION.

1.

And round the champion's brows was bound popular traditions. He loved fairies, genii, giants, The crown that druidess had wound,

and monsters; he delighted to rove through the of the green laurel-bay.

meanders of enchantment, to gaze on the magnisAnd this was what remain'd of all

cence of golden palaces, to repose by the waterThe wealth of each enchanted hall,

falls of elysian gardens.” The garland and the dame:

the baron of Triermain.-P. 348. But where should warrior seek the meed, Triermain was a fief of the barony of Gilslandi, Due to high worth for daring deed,

in Cumberland; it was possessed by a Saxon family Except from Love and FAME!

at the time of the Conquest, but, “after the deata of Gilmore, lord of Tryermaine and Torcrossock, Hubert Vaux gave_Tryermaine and Torcrossock

to his second son, Ranulph Vaux, which Ranulph My Lucy, when the maid is won,

afterwards became heir to his elder brother Ro The minstrel's task, thou know'st, is done; bert, the founder of Lanercost, who died without And to require of bard

issue. Ranulph, being lord of all Gilsland, gave That to the dregs his tale should run,

Gilmore's lands to his own younger son, named Were ordinance too hard.

Roland, and let the barony descend to his eldes Our lovers, briefly be it said,

son Robert, son of Ranulph. Roland had issue Wedded as lovers wont to wed,

Alexander, and he Ranulph, after whom succeeded When tale or play is o'er;

Robert, and they were named Rolands successiveLived long and blest, loved fond and true, ly, that were lorris thereof, until the reign of EdAnd saw a numerous race renew

ward the fourth. That house gave for arms, Vert, The honours that they bore.

a bend dexter, chequey, or and gules.”-Burn's Know, too, that when a pilgrim strays, Antiquities of Westmoreland and Cumberland, vol. In morning mist, or evening maze,

ii, p. 482 Along the mountain lone,

This branch of Vaux, with its collateral alliThat fairy fortress often mocks

ances, is now represented by the family of BradHis gaze upon the castle rocks

dyl of Conishead priory, in the county palatine of the valley of saint John;

of Lancaster; for it appears that, about the time But never man since brave De Vaux

above-mentioned, the house of Triermaine was The charmed portal won.

united to its kindred family Vaux of Caterlen, 'Tis now a vain allusive show,

and, by marriage with the heiress of Delamore That melts whene'er the sunbeams glow, and Leybourne, became the representative of those Or the fresh breeze hath blown.

ancient and noble families. The male line failing JI.

in John de Vaux, about the year 1665, his daughBut see, my love, where far below

ter and heiress, Mabel, married Christopher RichOur lingering wheels are moving slow, mond, esq. of Highhead castle, in the county of The whiles up-gazing still,

Cumberland, descended from an ancient family of Our menials eye our steepy way,

that name, lords of Corby castle, in the same Marvelling, perchance, what whim can stay county, soon after the Conquest, and which they Our steps when eve is sinking gray

alienated about the 15th of Edward the second, to On this gigantic hill.

Andrea de Harcla, arl of Carlisle. Of this family So think the vulgar-Life and time

was sir Thomas de Raigemont, (miles auratus,) in Ring all their joys in one dull chime

the reign of king Edward the first, who appears to Of luxury and ease;

have greatly distinguished himself at the siege of And O! beside these simple knaves,

Kaerlaveroc, with William baron of Leybourne. How many better born are slaves

In an ancient heraldic poem now extant, and preTo such coarse joys as these,

served in the British Museum, describing that Dead to the nobler sense that glows

siege, his arms are stated to be, Or, 2 Bars GeWhen Nature's grander scenes unclose! melles Gules, and a Chief Or, the same borne by But, Lucy, we will love them yet,

his descendants at the present day. The RichThe mountain's misty coronel,

monds removed to their castle of Highhead in the The green-wood and the wold;

reign of Henry the eighth, when the then repreAnd love the more, that of their maze sentative of the family married Margaret, daughAdventure high or other days

ter of sir Hugh Lowther, by the lady Dorothy de By ancient bards is told,

Clifford, only child by a second marriage of HenBringing, perchance, like my poor tale, ry lord Clifford, great grandson of John lord ClifSome moral truth in fiction's veil:

ford, by Elizabeth Percy, daughter of Henry (surNor love them less, that o'er the hill

named' Hotspur) by Elizabeth Mortimer, which The evening breeze, as now, comes chill;-

said Elizabeth was daughter of Edward Mortimer, My love shall wrap her warm,

third earl of Marche, by Phillippa, sole daughter And, fearless of the slippery way,

and heiress of Lionel, duke of Clarence. While safe she trips the heathy brae,

The third in descent from the above-mentioned Shall bang on Arthur's arm.

John Richmond, became the representative of the

families of Vaux, of Triermaine, Caterlen, and NOTES TO CANTO 1.

Torcrossock, by his marriage with Mabel de 1. Like Collins, ill-starr'd name!-P. 348. Vaux, the heiress of them. His grandson Henry COLLINS, according to Johnson, “by indulging Richmond died without issue, leaving five sisters some peculiar habits of thought, was eminently co-beiresses, four of whom married; but Margaret, delighted with those flights of imagination which who married William Gale, esq. of Whitehaven, pass the bounds of nature, and to which the mind was the only one who had male issue surviving. is reconciled only by a passive acquiescence in She had a son, and a daughter married to Henry

7.

arms.

Curwen of Workington, esq., who represented the gently sloping hill, called Mayburgh. In the plain county of Cumberland for many years in parlia- which it incloses there stands erect an unhewa ment, and by her had a daughter, married to John stone of twelve feet in height. Two similar masses Christian, esq., (dow Curwen.). John, son and are said to have been destroyed during the memoheir of William Gale, married Sarah, daughter ry of man. The whole appears to be a monument and þeiress of Christopher Wilson of Bardsea of druidical times. hall, in the county of Lancaster, by Margaret, aunt 6. Though never sunbeam could discern and co-heiress of Thomas Braddýl, esq. of Brad- The surface of that sable tann.-P. 349, dyl, and Conishead priory, in the same county, The small lake called Scales-tarn lies so deeply and had issue four sons and two daughters:- 1st, embosomed in the recesses of the huge mountain William Wilson, died an infant; 2d, Wilson, who, called Saddleback, more poetically Glaramara, is upon the death of his cousin, Thomas Braddyl, of such great depth, and so completely hidden without issue, succeeded to his estates, and took from the sun, that it is said its beams never reach the name of Braddyl, in pursuance of his will, by it, and that the reflection of the stars may be seeu the king's sigo manual; 3d, William, died young; at mid-day. and 4th, Henry Richmond, a lieutenant-general

-Tintadgel's spear.-P. 350. of the army, married Sarah, daughter of the Rev. R. Baldwin; Margaret married Richard Greaves have been the birth-place of king Arthur.

Tintadgel castle, in Cornwall, is reported to Townley, esq. of Fulbourne, in the county of Cambridge, and of Bellfield, in the county of Lancas

8. Caliburn in cumbrous length.-P. 351. ter; Sarah married to George Bigland, of Bigland This was the name of king Arthur's well-known 1 ball, in the same county.

sword, sometimes also called Excalibar. Wilson Braddyl, eldest son of John Gale, and grandson of Margaret Richmond, married Jane,

NOTES TO CANTO II. daughter and heiress of Matthias Gale, esq.

of 1. From Arthur's band the goblet flew.-P. 353. Catgill hall, in the county of Cumberland, by Jane,

The author has an indistinct recollection of an daughter and heiress of the Rev. S. Bennet, D.D.; adventure somewhat similar to that which is here and, as the eldest surviving male branch of the ascribed to king Arthur, having befallen one of families above-mentioned, he quarters, in addition the ancient kings of Denmark. The horn in which to his own, their paternal coats in the following the burning liquor was presented to that monarch, order, as appears by the records in the college of is said still to be preserved in the Royal Museum

at Copenhagen. 1st, Argent, a fess azure, between 3 saltiers of 2. Nor tower nor donjon could he spy, the same, charged with an anchor between 2 lions Darkening against the morning sky.-P. 353. heads erazed, or,-Gale.

“We now gained a view of the vale of St. 20, Or, 2 bars gemelles gules, and a chief or, John's, a very narrow dell, hemmed in by mounRichmond.

tains, through which a small brook makes many 3d, Or, a sess chequey, or and gules between 9 meanderings, washing little inclosures of grassgerbes gules,–Vaux of Caterlen.

ground, which stretch up the rising of the hills. 4th, Gules, a fess chequey, or and gules between In the widest part of the dale you are struck with 6 gerbes or,–Vaux of T'orcrossock.

the appearance of an ancient ruined castle, which 5th, *Argent, a bend chequey, or and gules, for seems to stand upon the summit of a little mount, Vaux of Triermain.

the mountains around forming an amphitheatre. 6th, Gules, a cross patonce, or,-Delamore.

This massive bulwark shows a front of various 7th, Gules, 6 lions rampant argent, 3, 2, and 1, towers, and makes an awful, rude, and Gothic -Leybourne.t

appearance, with its lofty turrets and ragged bat3. And his who sleeps at Dunmailraise.-P. 349.

tlements; we traced the galleries, the bending Dunmailraise is one of the grand passes from arches, the buttresses. The greatest antiquity Cumberland into Westmoreland. It takes its name stands characterized in its architecture; the inhafrom a cairn, or pile of stones, erected, it is said, bitants near it assert it is an antediluvian structure. to the memory of Dunmail, the last king of Cum

“ The traveller's curiosity is roused, and he berland.

prepares to make a nearer approach, when that 4. Penrith's Table Round.-P. 349. curiosity is put upon the rack by his being asA circular entrenchment, about half a mile from sured, that, if he advances, certain genii who go Penrith, is thus popularly termed. The circle vern the place, by virtue of their supernatural art within the ditch is about one hundred and sixty and necromancy, will strip it of all its beauties, paces in eircumference, with openings, or ap- and, by enchantment, transform the magic walls. proaches, directly opposite to each other. As the The vale seems adapted for the habitation of such ditch is on the inner side, it could not be intended beings; its gloomy recesses and retirements look for the purpose of defence, and it has reasonably like haunts of evil spirits. There was no delusion been conjectured, that the inclosure was designed in the report; we were soon convinced of its truth; for the solemn exercise of feats of chivalry; and for this piece of antiquity, so venerable and noble the embankment around for the convenience of the in its aspect, as we drew near, changed its figure, spectators.

and proved no other than a shaken massive pile 5.-Mayburgh e mound and stones of power.-P. 349. of rocks, which stand in the midst of this little

Highcrup the river Eamont than Arthur's Round yale, disunited from the adjoining mountains, and Table, is a prodigious inclosure of great antiquity, have so much the real form and resemblance of a formed by a collection of stones upon the top ofá castle, that they bear the name of the Castle Rocks

of St. John."-Hutchinson's Excursion to the * Not vert, as stated by Burn. + This more detailed genealogy of the family of Trier

Lakes, p. 121. main was obligingly, sent to the author, by major Brad.

3. The Saxons to subjection brought-P.353 dyl of Coniabead Priory.

Arthur is said to have defeated the Saxons is

« PreviousContinue »